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November 5, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
An interesting recipe graced the cover of the D-section of the Tribune Chronicle today. A seemingly plethora of exciting vegetables all tossed in one pan and stirred up with a bit of olive oil, garlic and rosemary. The added protein was a combination of sundried tomato, basil and tuna, which evidently is sold as a package.
I have not seen this item in stores, but that’s not to say it isn’t there. I just haven’t looked for it. I grab my favorite tuna from the shelf usually in a rush and don’t often take the time to look around at other things. It is certainly an interesting combination and I wonder if it couldn’t be duplicated by simply adding sun dried tomatoes and basil (two complimentary flavors) to the mix. I noticed the directions stated not to drain the tuna, and not having seen it, I don’t know if it is packed in oil or water. The recipe also calls for the addition of ¼ cup olive oil, which may sound like a lot, but when broken down into four servings only leaves ½ ounce per person. That is the equivalent of a scant three teaspoons of healthy oils.
The vegetables in the recipe are red potatoes (which is excellent with rosemary), red onion, green beans, red bell pepper, yellow squash and sliced zucchini. That’s a lot of colorful, healthy vegetables. This dish is very simple to make all in one pan.
Once you make it, you can begin to create many more one-pan skillet recipes. One of my favorite’s, which I’ve mentioned here before, is a mixture of stir fried fresh vegetables of choice in olive oil and lots of handfuls of fresh, chopped kale mixed with whole-wheat pasta. The secret is to saute a few anchovies for an entirely different, and wonderful, flavor.
You can leave out anything or add other things. I once made a rice stir fry with vegetables and rice and added pineapple tidbits and peanuts.
These one-skillet meals are a great way to toss together a bunch of healthy items and get a great meal in only a few minutes time. If you know you will be pressed for time, cook the pasta or rice the night before and refrigerate it. I often make a pot of brown rice on the weekend and use it all week long. In fact, that’s exactly what I did this week particularly to add to the organic tomato bisque soup I’ve had the past two days for lunch. What a great way to get in lots of fiber and whole grains.
This morning I started my day with a bowl of Kashi Heart to Heart cereal, half of a banana and skim milk.
By lunch time, I was ready for the soup, which I enjoyed with thin slices of French baguette bread and an ounce of goat cheese.
I was ready for a snack at mid-morning, but I came prepared with a cup of plain yogurt and blueberries that I had bought locally and froze in mid-summer. It was well worth it as I will have blueberries all winter in my freezer for all of my yogurt, cold cereal and oats.
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Breakfast: 2 ounces grains; ½ cup fruit; 1 cup milk; 30 discretionary calories.